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Working at the Smithsonian


  • Librarians can be generalists who assist researchers and develop bibliographies or specialists in specific areas such as cataloging, rare books digital collections, acquisitions and systems. Librarian positions require a Masters in Library Science (MLS). Many Librarians also have an undergraduate or graduate degree in the subject matter of the library. Library Technicians often have undergraduate degrees in the subject matter of the library and some experience or education in library practice.
  • The Smithsonian Libraries comprise 20 branches and house 1.5 million volumes, 40,000 rare books and 2,000 rare manuscript groups including several books from James Smithson’s personal library. The rare book collection is particularly impressive as it contains first books on chemistry, math, physics and natural philosophy printed in the early 15th century – the very beginning of western science.
  • There is also an imaging center that creates electronic versions of our rare books and distinctive collections so they can be shared on the internet.
  • The libraries maintain an exchange program with 4,000 libraries to allow staff access to periodicals, museum catalogues and professional society publications.

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"Working at the Smithsonian"

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